Tag Archives: #thetruthabout

standing up for what you believe in

So, tomorrow’s the big day! #KidsStrike3rdMay, and mine and Sophie’s parallel campaign, #THISislearning (which you don’t have to be striking to join in with!).

How am I feeling? Excited, nervous and frazzled. I have all of the feels at the moment. Sometimes I think my heart might burst out of my chest. I’m like some hopeless romantic or desperate optimist or frightened radical or, I don’t know… it’s exhausting. clouds

The last few weeks have been manic. Actually, ever since I published my ‘No Mr Cameron, No.’ blog post back in March (which ten thousand people read in a week – a number so hugely vast, in terms of this blog, that I still haven’t got my head round it!) things have been feeling slightly out of control. There’s nothing quite like writing a passionate, heartfelt post and having people respond to it in an equally passionate, heartfelt way. To be a bit navel-gazy and pretentious for a moment, I feel like I’ve been on a bit of a journey. I’ve been inspired and enthused, I’ve learned masses and I’ve ended up way out of my comfort zone launching a whole campaign of my own. When people responded the way they did, I couldn’t ignore it. I had to act.

So a month ago I decided to keep my boys off school for the Kids Strike. I wrote a personal letter to their school explaining how happy they have been at their school and that the action isn’t against the school or teachers (who are fab) but against educational policy which NEEDS to change for the sake of all our kids. Some headteachers across the country are marking absences for the strike as ‘educational’ in recognition of that – how wonderful, eh? Totally in the spirit of parents and teachers working together! Still, it’s officially against the law so little goody-two-shoes, rule-abiding me is having to take a deep breath over it all…

… A deep breath while also shouting “Upon St Cripsin’s day!” a la Kenneth Branagh in Henry V (quietly to myself, I’m not THAT weird) and marching onwards.#THISislearning badge final

As for #THISislearning – our parallel campaign to spread positive images, messages and stories about real learning across social media on May 3rd – well, there’s been so much good stuff come from that already. People sharing stories, doing fabulous drawings and really wanting to make it clear to our government that current educational policy is wrong, not just by striking (although hooray for that!) but also by sharing examples of what real learning looks like. That’s what tomorrow is all about for me –  real learning and positive action. Together, a friend and I have all sorts of activities planned, albeit with enough flexibility to follow our kids’ lead. We want the day to be fun, we want them to learn and we want them to see that when it’s important, you have to stand up for what you believe in.

I would love lots of people to join in with #THISislearning. I hope they do. It means so much to me.

Ooh and by the way, another reason April was full-on:

campnano 16 winner banner

Yep. I wrote enough words last month to win CampNanoWriMo.

Phew.

Today nerves, tomorrow the world, after that a nice long nap.

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do I want to make money from my blog?

Right now I’m going through a phase that I suspect is familiar to all bloggers – one where I’m questioning my blog’s purpose and direction. Specifically, at the moment I’m wondering about monetising it. I didn’t start blogging with an aim to make money at all, ‘Writing Bubble’ was just an outlet for my thoughts, and a way to connect with other people. And I’m very happy with the how it has developed in that way. But recently, I’ve been wondering if it’s time to make a change.

money

Over the last two-and-a-half years my blog has slowly got more readers and interactions and whether it’s recently crossed some sort of threshold on the Domain Authority scale (she says, like she knows what Domain Authority is… ) or just got on a list by chance somehow, I’m now frequently getting approached by PR’s. I keep being asked how much I charge for sponsored content and if I would like to collaborate on this, that or the other. It’s all fairly basic stuff – I imagine the emails are sent out en masse to thousands of bloggers, but still, it’s made me stop and think.

Do I want this? Do I want to earn money from my blog?

In one way of course, earning money from blogging would be fab. I know some people have hugely successful, glittering careers based on their blogs while many others have created a steady stream of decent income by committing themselves to their own little corner of the internet. If I put my mind and energies to it, I’m sure I could make this blog (moderately) successful in that way. And wouldn’t that be lovely? Money made from writing, here at home. And in MY space on the internet too – not writing for another publication but for my own. Tempting.

Tempting…

But do I really want it? Enough to prioritise it? Because honestly, if I went down that road I think more time-sacrifices would have to be made. I’ve already found that fitting in my illustration course, with all the drawing practice that entails, is squeezing time from other activities like reading and writing and collapsing like a potato in front of the telly. Plus there are unavoidable time-draws like work and running a house to consider. And then there are the things that REALLY matter – my life as a mother, a wife and a friend. How much more can I juggle?

On top of this there’s the question of what content I’d be happy to put in this blog and how that would square with how much I was hoping to earn from it. To make a reasonable amount would I end up blogging about nail varnish or furniture polish or other things I don’t give two hoots about? Or could I target myself at enough interesting brands to mean I need only to blog about stuff that is of genuine interest to me and, of course, my readers? At the moment I can write whatever I like but in collaborations, compromises would need to be made… wouldn’t they?

So I’m kind of spinning my wheels on the issue at the moment. Toying with notions. Undecided.

If you have any thoughts or advice to offer on this issue I’d love to hear from you!

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not reflecting on 2015… honest

It’s January, the first day of a new year and the traditional time to look back at the year gone by and make resolutions for the year ahead. I’ve read a lot of reflective posts from fellow bloggers these past few days and toyed with the idea of writing one of my own – almost felt I should write one in fact, as if it’s some kind of blogging law. After all, blogging is a kind of online diary so the task of writing some kind of summary should be so easy that, well, why wouldn’t you?

flooded flieds reflection

What’s stopped me (apart from a rather hectic diary and extremely dodgy broadband due to flooding) is feeling that, compared to others, I didn’t achieve enough last year. You see, I didn’t write an entire novel or find a publisher or an agent. I didn’t write for Huff Post, become Blog Of The Day on Mumsnet or be in the Tots100 index (honestly, I’m not even sure what that is!). Nor did I have a post go viral, gain masses of followers or have glittering associations with exciting brands. I didn’t travel the world, get a promotion at work, have a baby or, or, or… well, all sorts of things.

Which is all FINE, honestly it is. I’d probably explode if all that had happened in one year! But one of the perils of blogging is the almost irresistible urge to compare yourself to others and, while reading the posts of my lovely fellow bloggers was inspiring and heart-warming, I also found myself thinking:

Look at that! A whole book written and published! And this person’s just found an agent and that person’s written a whole novel in a month, and over here someone’s had a baby and still managed to blog nearly every day! They’re all AWESOME! How can I live up to that?!

You don’t have to ‘live up to that’ you fool! The more sensible side of me then counselled, It’s not a competition, you know.

Yes, I know that, but still, look – this person’s written enough poetry in a few months to fill a whole book, and that person’s got a massive promotion at work and…

Oh, SHHHH, didn’t I just say, IT’S NOT A COMPETITION!

Yes but..

Yes but nothing – look, all these things that people have achieved, they’ve managed through hard work, determination and being willing to put themselves out there, to take a few risks maybe…

But, I’ve been doing that too! I mean I worked my socks off on those three picture book manuscripts and I had them professionally edited and I sent them off to agents, and… and I went to my first blogging conference and a whole Writing Festival weekend which was totally out of my comfort zone…

Ah ha! See – you DID achieve some pretty cool things last year then!

I guess… yes?

No question about it… didn’t you write at least one blog post every single week of the year? AND didn’t Louise from ‘Little Hearts, Big Love’ include your blog as one of her top ten of 2015?

She did! It was totally unexpected and REALLY made me smile!

And haven’t you written masses of limericks? Weren’t you (and aren’t you still) an editor for BritMums? Didn’t you read and recommend fantastic books? Don’t you you run a linky that has built up a lovely community around it… in fact you even arranged real life meet up for that linky didn’t you?

Yes – it was fab! Our #WhatImWriting community is SO wonderful and inspiring.

Agreed! And then there’s that other work you do…

Well yes, though I’m not sure I’ve really achieved that much there…

I think you’ll find a quick look at your inbox will reveal an awful lot appreciative emails.

Yes, ok, I guess I have been of some value there too.

Absolutely you’ve been of value! Besides which, I know that one of the things you value most is your friends and this has been a wonderful year for friendship too hasn’t it?

It really has yes, you’ve got me there.

And, AND, you have three young kids! Three young kids who are clothed and fed and happy!

That’s very true…

And I know you’re thinking ‘but I could have been a better parent and I wish I never shouted’ but pah, no one’s perfect and your boys are loved. That’s the most important thing. They’re loved and happy. Trust me, you’re doing fine.

Ok, you win, I…

Wait, one more thing! it was your twenty-first anniversary with your husband just before christmas wasn’t it? That’s worth celebrating!

Oh yes, and we certainly did celebrate! I get it, I get it… thanks sensible side, you’ve made me see sense, I’ve achieved plenty this year and it doesn’t matter that it’s not exciting things like book publications, career advances and meeting celebrities (oh wait, I did do that), it’s the little things. I’ve kept chugging along, taking little risks and putting lots of time and energy into relationships which is what matter most. Now I come to think of it – 2015 was a pretty awesome year.

Totally! So… are you going to write that reflective, summary post now?

What, the one where I look back over 2015 and include links to lots of other blog posts?

That’s the one.

Nah, I can’t really be bothered. ;)

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